The Hurry Up: Staff Has No Contact With Four-Star Wideout While Recruiting Reform Is Up For Debate at the AFCA Convention

By Andrew Lind on January 9, 2017 at 7:15p
Jeff Thomas

Jeff Thomas

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The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

ERASED FROM THE WHITEBOARD

After watching Jeff Thomas set an Under Armour All-America Game record with 148 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Ohio State quarterback commit Tate Martell pondered what it would take to get the four-star receiver to join him in Columbus.

The Buckeyes offered the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder from East St. Louis, Illinois, more than two years ago, but the two parties have shown any real interest in each other in the meantime. A source close to Thomas told Eleven Warriors the staff has not made contact in the last week, either, as his grades are reportedly an issue.

I'm also not sure Ohio State would want to bring in another small receiver with 5-foot-9, 161-pound Tyjon Lindsey already on board and 6-foot-5, 210-pound Jaylen Harris still on the market.

The eighth-best receiver and No. 49 prospect overall in the class, Thomas will take official visits to Illinois, Louisville, Miami and Tennessee in the coming weeks. It is believed his decision will ultimately come down to those four schools.

THEY'LL DO THEIR BEST

Bellaire, Texas, Episcopal five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson was on the sidelines during Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl to watch his best friends Baron Browning and Jeffrey Okudah play in what was essentially the final game of their high school careers.

The 6-foot-4, 329-pound Wilson told Eleven Warriors after the game he's still not sure where he's going to college, but he's certain Browning and Okudah will try to sway his decision.

In a separate interview with ESPN, Wilson added he didn't even want to see them after the game.

“I'm about to go to my hotel room and lock the door,” he said. “They'll probably be beating it down. Probably need security. But they're still my guys.”

Wilson, the top-rated defensive tackle and No. 3 prospect overall in the Class of 2017, listed Ohio State alongside Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma and South Florida in his Top 5 late last month. He took an official visit to Columbus with Browning and Okudah for the Nov. 26 game against Michigan.

“I'm going to recruit him, but I ain't going to pressure him,” Browning said. “I wouldn't want anybody pressuring me and my decision. I'm going to recruit slowly but surely.”

Okudah wasn't so subtle.

“We're going to bother him, don't worry,” Okudah said. “We'll get a key."

Wilson will make his decision on National Signing Day. If the Buckeyes land him, they'll hold commitments from four of the top six players from the state of Texas, which also includes four-star running back and early enrollee J.K. Dobbins.

YOU SURE YOU WANT A TENTH ASSISTANT?

The American Football Coaches Association convention kicked off on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, with recruiting coordinators from all over the country openly expressing their concerns about the proposed early signing period in college football and how it would change the visit calendar.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree, the biggest issue pertained to schools being allowed to bring prospects on campus for official visits on the same weekend they would host a camp.

“What happens if they decided not to offer these kids and he's used up all five of his visits before he even gets to the fall,” Texas State director of player personnel Michael George said.

The proposal — which would introduce two 72-hour early signing periods, add a 10th assistant coach and limit the number of satellite camps to a 10-day period — will continue to be discussed throughout the convention, with final drafts being presented later this month.

It would need approval from the NCAA Board of Directors and the Collegiate Commissioners Association in April to go into effect during the 2017-18 recruiting cycle.

CIRCLING BACK

Ohio State offered Baltimore, Maryland, Gilman four-star athlete Thomas Booker a scholarship in early December.

“The offer means a lot to me,” Booker told Eleven Warriors. “It's an incredible school with a storied football program that screams excellence.”

The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder is considered the 18th-best athlete and the No. 249 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He plays H-Back, tight end, defensive end and linebacker for the Greyhounds, and that versatility is why programs such as Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Wisconsin have offered.

“I'm absolutely humbled by it,” Booker said.

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